Don’t Tell Your PC! – Is Technology Leaving it Behind?

Technology innovation is fueling a corporate trend of delaying the replacement of aging PCs. You heard me – advances in technology are driving corporations to lengthen, not shorten, PC replacement cycles. Counter-intuitive maybe, but a deeper look produces valuable insight into why the corporate PC may be an unintended victim to significant technology innovations.

Recent indications are that many corporations are shifting from a traditional 3-4 year PC replacement cycle to a 5-7 year cycle. Although initially a by-product of the worldwide recession, the root-cause of longer PC life cycles is technology itself. Let’s look at a few recent technology advancements to see how they contribute to this trend.

Hardware Reliability – Advancements in manufacturing technologies are producing PCs that can operate reliably for 6-7 years before needing replacement.

Efficient Operating Systems – Operating systems are becoming more efficient. Hardware resources required to run Windows® 7 effectively are less than Windows Vista. In many cases, existing computers that currently run Windows XP can be used for Windows 7.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) – As corporations utilize web-based SaaS applications, the need for local computing power is diminished. Existing computers have more than adequate resources for this task.

Thin Client / Application Streaming – Implementing either technology reduces hardware resource requirements at the end-user PC. Existing computers have more than adequate resources to run in this mode.

The recent 3% drop in worldwide PC sales is a reflection of this trend. Although a portion of the drop is attributed to the increase in tablet sales, most analysts agree that tablet sales have only marginally cannibalized PC sales. In nearly 90% of tablet sales, the tablet complemented - not replaced - the PC.

Positive Impact on Business

What does this change mean to business? Integrating current technologies into your business can significantly reduce your capital outlay for replacement PCs, lengthen your PC replacement cycles, and decrease your PC total cost of ownership (TCO). You can achieve the highest value from your PC investments through a PC replacement program based on current PC requirements, not an outdated calendar model. Your business can free itself of unnecessarily elevated capital expenditures while improving productivity, efficiency, and sustainability.

Key is IT Asset Management

The prerequisite for a PC optimization program within a company is a continual understanding of everything you own. This real-time knowledge needs to be matched with all current PC requirements. Don’t assume that today’s hardware resource needs are the same as yesterday’s needs. An accurate, complete discovery and inventory of your IT assets is critical. This process can be easily automated and maintained through the use of state-of-the-art IT asset management tools. Use real-time asset knowledge to ensure that you get full value from prior investments before expending additional capital funds.

Technology Innovation is on Your Side

Reap the benefits that new technology offers to improve your business. There are situations in some businesses that require certain individuals to use leading-edge PCs, but this is becoming the exception in a well managed, state-of-the-art IT organization of today. The “prima donna” may want a new PC, but is it necessary in a lean business as we enter the age of “good enough” computing? As businesses focus on the bottom line, are new PCs becoming a victim within the corporate technology investment plan?

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